Dan Gesmer is an American entrepreneur, polymath, inventor, and freestyle innovator. He is also Head Seismologist at Seismic Skate, which he owns. Based on Gesmer’s seminal engineering advances, Seismic virtually reinvented the skateboard after its original 70s heyday and helped reinvigorate enthusiasm for longboarding, slalom, downhill, and flatland freestyle–approaches that had been marginalized by high flyers like Tony Hawk. The improvements Gesmer authored upon skate truck technology were originally self-serving: he needed a more responsive board to suit his singular, balletic style. Seismic’s website calls skateboarding a “sport/art,” perfect for the pursuit of “pure, open-minded joy.” Joy which, despite the sticky image of a gravity-free Hawk launching skyward from a half-pipe, often means four wheels down, like this.
Gesmer–Daniel Jon Gesmer, that is, in this role–also happens to be a recognized authority on the peerless and troubled Russian ballet virtuoso Nijinsky, whose diary–written in the attic in the six weeks during which he went mad–is considered a gem of world literature. Most critics and historians are convinced of Nijinksy’s insanity, but not Gesmer, whose contrary stance may offer a clue about the head of the Head Seismologist (who presumably lingered over the lines in Nijinsky’s diary that read: “My pulse is an earthquake. I am an earthquake.”). Of the sublime and enigmatic dancer Gesmer once wrote: “I believe his motives were actually quite noble, and sincerely so – not a cover-up for selfishness or a symptom of pathological processes, as at least some have claimed. We today would do well to learn from both his ideals and his tragic struggle to implement them.” Freestyle, then. Two masters of.